Meet the Director

A2SF Executive Director Mike Michelon shares his favorite festival moments, and why your donation to the festival’s Endowment Fund leaves a lasting impact

What’s your favorite festival experience? 

Always hard to choose. David Dimitri’s One-Man Circus in the 2016 season was particularly memorable. Assembling the big top tent and high-wire in Burns Park over the course of a week built tremendous curiosity and interest in our community. This production culminated with five beautiful and thrilling performances and a workshop where children learned how to walk a wire themselves.

Outside the festival, what’s your favorite thing about Ann Arbor?

The people! I love the interplay between the City and the University, the conversations you can have in coffee-shops, restaurants, and auditorium lobbies, and the depth and breadth of activity in town.

Why is the festival’s Forever Summer Endowment campaign so important?

Our endowment will provide a permanent, guaranteed source of funding for the organization, ensuring that the community can benefit from the festival for generations to come. We have an incredible opportunity afforded to us by an anonymous donor who’s providing a matching gift of up to $50,000 for endowment contributions.

What’s your favorite behind-the-scenes moment at the festival?

One of the most exciting things about producing live-events is that anything can happen; the certainty of uncertainty. Each season I’m inspired by our team who solve and improvise against seemingly intractable challenges like artist travel delays or illness, unexpected weather, or complicated technical requirements.  Our audiences will never know of most of these challenges and that’s the way it should be.

What’s one thing people don’t know about you? 

As a child, I “staged” elaborate concerts for my extended family on holidays complete with tickets, programs, props, costumes, and lighting. My brothers are just now forgiving me for years of making them work as “technicians” without giving them a role on stage…
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